STEVE BOUSER: A Personal List of Things Hoped for in 2010
Things I hope -- but don't necessarily expect -- to see in 2010:
-- Nothing more of the Balloon Boy, the White House gate crashers, or (fat chance) Tiger Woods.
-- More people riding bicycles as part of their daily routines. Greater efforts by local communities to become more bike-friendly.
-- More movies like James Cameron's new sci-fi masterpiece, "Avatar." Though I could have done without the heavy-handed political message (10-foot, blue alien Indians against cruel invading cowboys from a corporate-ruled Earth), the special effects, viewed through 3-D glasses, take us to a stunning new level and make everything that came before look primitive.
-- On the less mind-blowing, more modest, but more heart-warming end of the spectrum: More films like "The Blind Side," a touching little real-life sports drama that is not to be missed. Sandra Bullock's performance is Oscar material.
(A day after I wrote the above paragraph, we watched a Netflix DVD of "Julie and Julia." Never mind Bullock. The 2009 Oscar goes to Meryl Streep's quirkily endearing and dead-on portrayal of Julia Child.)
-- Locally, significant progress toward a truly countywide water system.
-- As said in an earlier column: More news viewers switching from Fox on the right and MSNBC on the left to watch CNN's new prime-time anchor, John King -- who, as Lou Dobbs' replacement, will be making a refreshing and much-needed effort to occupy the more objective journalistic middle.
-- As ever, more dogs and fewer cats.
-- Fewer stupid, mean-spirited "reality TV" shows that get their chucks out of subjecting people to on-camera humiliation.
-- More people using religion to bring people together instead of drive them apart.
-- While I'm on the subject: More Muslims worldwide showing the courage to rise up and denounce terrorism, punish violence and remind the world that theirs is supposed to be a religion of peace.
-- Fewer people, in media and ordinary life, using the mystifyingly redundant linguistic mannerism that I call the "double is." It's suddenly an epidemic. Example: "The trouble is, is that they can't agree." Where in the world did that second "is" come from?
-- Smaller, more sensible serving sizes in restaurant meals. (The alarming trend in the other direction will be the subject of an entire future column.)
-- Speaking of which: When Taco Bell finally reopens, if it ever does, more people choosing items from the less artery-clogging "Fresco" menu.
-- More people buying those incredibly cool little Flip Video cameras and e-mailing us brief clips of community goings-on to put up on our Web site, thepilot.com.
-- More do-it-yourself house painters discovering Aura brand paint from Benjamin Moore, sold locally at Aberdeen Paint and Wallpaper. It's expensive, and it's an entirely new formulation that you have to apply in a different, counterintuitive way. But for coverage, uniformity and durability, it produces one-coat results that will take your breath away. This is an unsolicited testimonial.
-- Fewer people trying to make a phony issue out of President Obama's appointment of "czars" to handle special tasks, as if he were some kind of Russian or something. Every president in recent decades has appointed "czars," although none of them, including Obama, have ever called them that. That's a media tag. As vice president, George H.W. Bush was Ronald Reagan's "drug czar." Bush's son, George W., I'm told, had more czars running around in his administration than does Obama. Give it a rest.
-- In the same vein: Fewer people trying to make a phony issue out of President Obama's use of Teleprompters. To my knowledge, every president for the past half-century has made frequent use of Teleprompters. (Remember when someone fed the wrong text into Bill Clinton's while he was addressing Congress in 1993?)
-- Fewer e-mails offering to enhance various parts of my anatomy (too late for that) or let me in on a financial windfall from someone's will in Nigeria.
-- A conscious attempt by us all to step back from the political precipice, strive for consensus, quit demonizing each other, and try to restore a modicum of civility to our tattered social contract before it comes apart at the seams.
-- For you, Dear Reader of whatever ideological stripe, a gloriously happy new year.
Steve Bouser is editor of The Pilot. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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